A new wildlife camera array is being tested on an expedition exploring the deep sea geology around the Hawaiian islands.
The 14-day exploration project is the work of the Ocean Exploration Trust (OET) and will be carried out aboard the Exploration Vessel (E/V) Nautilus.
The footage shot by the camera will enable researchers to create near real-time applications dedicated to outreach, engagement, and marine research. The footage can also be used with sonar data collected on the expedition to construct incredible 3-dimensional models of each site using technology from the movie and video game industry.
According to expedition leader Jason Fahy:
“While photogrammetry has been a tool utilized in ocean exploration for decades, those mosaics took days or weeks to produce. We intend to integrate the absolute best cameras with leading-edge modeling software to bring model creation to near real-time.”
While OET Media Production Specialist and lead designer of the imaging system, Jonathan Fiely, stated:
“The Widefield Camera Array is a truly cutting-edge immersive camera system. We designed it to be an ideal tool not only for the collection of high-resolution imagery for three-dimensional photogrammetric models, but also hemispherical video for immersive dome projection, virtual reality, and IMAX-quality cinematographic productions…We’re proud to have developed a camera capable of recording discoveries with the highest production quality available for deep ocean exploration.”
Meanwhile, OET Founder and President Dr. Robert Ballard added:
“This expedition is especially unique because we’re integrating new and exciting camera technologies to see the deep sea in ways we never imagined. We hope to collect information and immersive imagery that can bring the deep ocean to classrooms, computers, and minds worldwide.”
You can check out four livestreams of the Nautilus in operation here.